What is schizophrenia?

What is schizophrenia?

If you have just learned your family member has received a diagnosis for schizophrenia, it can be distressing for all those involved. However, with the proper psychiatric care, your family member can achieve quality of life.

The first thing to do is consult the individual’s physician or psychiatrist to ensure you gain an understanding of the condition, its symptoms and the required care.

What is schizophrenia?

According to the Mayo Clinic, schizophrenia is a chronic, severe brain disorder that necessitates lifelong treatment for patients. Schizophrenia is common for both men and women and symptoms can begin to be recognized between ages 15 to 30. According to the Mayo Clinic, many doctors believe the disease occurs as a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors.

Symptoms of schizophrenia can include:

  • Delusional behavior
  • Difficulty with memory retention
  • Disorganization or disorganized behavior
  • Emotional and social withdrawal
  • Hallucinations
  • Personal hygiene issues

How is schizophrenia treated?

It's important to seek the psychiatric care of a qualified medical professional if you or a family member exhibits symptoms of or suspects schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is most often treated by with combination of psychotropic pharmaceuticals, cognitive therapy or social treatments as recommended by a psychiatrist.

How can I help the treatment process?

Taking the following steps can help ensure you or your family member successfully navigate the treatment process:

  • Make sure you research all of your options in terms of care providers. Continuously educate family members about the treatment program, as well as any changes in medical practices directly related to your family member’s care.   Explain why he or she is taking the medications prescribed, and what they can expect as their life continues to change.
  • Ensure medications are administered properly to provide continued quality of life.
  • Find facilities, if the need arises, where your family member can reside in order to continue receiving care. There are inpatient and outpatient services available depending on your family member's needs.
  • Continue to keep the lines of communication open with both your family member and the service providers caring for them. It is important that everyone, including the patient, understands the plan for treatment.

To find more information about treatment options for mental illnesses or disorders in Indianapolis, consult Angie's List consumer reviews on Indianapolis psychiatrists.

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